The Albany bear falls to the ground

albany bear video still

A still from a video clip shortly after the bear fell from the tree.

Updated 5:10 pm

The black bear that had been caught in a tree in Albany since Tuesday fell to the ground Wednesday just before 1 pm after being hit with tranquilizer darts. The state Department of Environmental Conservation reported later Wednesday afternoon that the bear had been euthanized.

A statement from DEC director of media relations Emily DeSantis:

The state Department of Environmental Conservation strives to relocate wildlife in situations where they enter urban and suburban settings. In this case, wildlife biologists determined this course of action is more humane and necessary to preserve public safety because of the bear's injuries and its history of returning to urban and suburban settings.

The video still above is from the scene just after the bear hit the ground. A witness sent the video to AOA -- the full clip is posted after the jump (thank you, Dawn). While not graphic, the video is a bit hard to watch knowing the context.

The bear, which appeared to be relatively young and about the size of a large dog, was first spotted in Bethlehem Tuesday morning, according to a DEC timeline. A few hours later it was spotted by the Exit 23 toll booth and reportedly was twice hit by a car (DEC reported that biologists determined the bear has "a serious visible injury," probably from a car). DEC officers tracked the bear to an area described as "secluded" and attempted to kill the bear, but failed to mortally wound it. That's when the bear escaped to the tree in the Whitehall neighborhood on Albany's southern edge. (There's a DEC timeline below.)

DEC said the bear had double ear tags -- from Pennsylvania -- indicating it had previously encountered wildlife biologists DEC said other weekend behavior in Bethlehem attributed to the bear indicated "a dangerous bear with a pattern of aggressive behavior and poses a threat to public safety."

Among the critics of the DEC's decision to kill the bear: Jim Tedisco -- the state Assemblyman, who has a reputation as an animal advocate, lobbied the agency today to spare the bear's life. [Capital]

Bears and areas with a lot of people are often a bad mix. And the state's increasing bear populations have resulted in more bears showing up in urban areas. Those incidents often don't end well for the bear. This Albany situation is another unfortunate reminder.

One of the best things you can do to help bears: don't feed them, either intentionally or unintentionally. Bears that associate human areas with food often end up dead.


DEC timeline

This was released Wednesday morning, and updated Wednesday afternoon:

May 28 Update:
+ This morning at approximately 10:50 a.m. DEC used a lift at the scene to get closer to the bear so two tranquilizer darts could be administered. A net was in place on the ground.
+ At 12:50 p.m. the bear fell from the tree by its own accord. DEC wildlife biologists on the scene assessed the bear and determined that for humane and nuisance reasons, the bear was put down today. Biologists determined the bear sustained a serious visible injury, most likely from being struck by a car.
+ The tags on the bear are from Pennsylvania and DEC will reach out to wildlife officials there to obtain more information on the bear.
May 27 Bear Timeline:
+ DEC received a call yesterday at 6:24 a.m. about a bear spotted in Bethlehem in the vicinity of Old Rt. 9W. The bear reportedly had double ear tags, which means he had previous encounters with wildlife biologists.
+ DEC received a second call at approximately 8:45 a.m. about a bear spotted at the toll booth on I787 at exit 23. This bear, which reportedly was hit by a car twice, ran into a wooded area between I787 and the residential area on Morton Avenue.
+ DEC also received reports of bear activity in neighborhoods in Bethlehem over the weekend. The bear attempted to get into a garage and damaged tents.
+ Yesterday afternoon the bear with double ear tags resurfaced on Rose Court in Albany. The bear's history over the weekend demonstrates it is dangerous bear with a pattern of aggressive behavior and poses a threat to public safety. Because of his dangerous behavior and injuries already sustained, the most appropriate course of action is to put the bear down.
+ DEC officers tracked the bear to a ravine where officers could safely attempt to put the bear down in a secluded area. The wound was not mortal and the bear escaped the ravine and ran up a tree where it remained overnight.
+ DEC, with the assistance of the Albany Police Department, cleared the area around the tree and it remained closed until early afternoon.

Earlier: Yep, that's a bear, in Albany


Looks like the bear didn't make it into the net...seems like a pretty sad story.

Well, what is it? Humane OR nuisance. Really can't be both. Seems like they just can't be bothered to relocate the animal to a densely wooded environment locally or in the Catskills or Adirondacks. Highly unlikely it's going to make its way back to Albany. Pretty sad.

Not surprising, considering the DEC is all about hunting, making money, and not at all interested in "environmental conservation". Kill all the things, unless the public will cry about it, like Mute Swans!

That is the smallest bear I've ever seen!

Ahh yes the "save the animal" crowd yelling again. Sorry to burst your egos but you are ignorant to the reality of wildlife.This bear had been captured twice before for being a nuisance in an urban area. That,in bear behavior makes this a dangerous animal because it no longer has a fear of humans. Now suppose...they released this returns. But this time as it goes near the local schoolyard...It attacks and or kills a child ? Would you be willing to let this happen to your child or grandchild ? As to encon wanting nothing more than to kill all the animals..seriously ? That is the MOST ignorant statement I have seen. Encon regulates hunting to avoid over hunting. To hunt you must buy the proper license. That money goes toward preservation efforts as well as law enforcement to catch the people who don't care about the laws that protect wildlife. Try living in the country for 40 + years like I have before you "think" you know about wildlife.

Sometimes it patently clear that commenters don't read the articles. The bear was previously tagged in Pennsylvania, that's PAST the Catskills that you want it moved to. Young bears travel huge distances to establish new mating territories at this time of year, it could easily end up back here again. It was also hit by a car, so dropping it off in the woods would just be an expensive ride in a hearse. The bear was likely conditioned to humans by some well meaning but poorly informed person putting out suet blocks or bird feeders in bear territory.

While I’m sad that they will ultimately have to put the bear down, I cannot assign blame to any one party. Not having witnessed the situation or being a professional, I cannot truly state that the bear should have been rehabilitate versus put down. I do know that if my dog had been hit twice by a car (as has been reported in the case of the bear), I would have to seriously consider the quality of life issues in making the ultimate decision. However, living a block away from the incident, I do have to assigned pointed blame at the DEC, who had lead, and Albany PD, who had support, by allowing things to devolve into a side show. The immediate blocks affected by this incident should have been opened to only residents and officials, instead of the mounting crowds that were allowed to develop. In my opinion, this was borderline inhumane, for there was no way that bear (especially if injured) was going to make its way down.

Additionally, I think this incident once again for the region (Troy, North Greenbush, Schenectady last year) drives home the bigger societal issue of our impact on the land and its implications for bears (and other wildlife). Commenters may not like the State’s policy on the “management” of bear populations or the final outcome of this incident, however, given that it ties directly back into available habitat and resources, I think it’s more important that they look at their own lifestyle (e.g. living in the unsustainable, nature disrupting suburbs) if they truly want that policy to be modified.

We only have to look at our own region to see the byproduct of this trend, where suburban sprawl continues unabated (Southern Saratoga County, Brunswick, Rotterdam, etc), leading to an increasing number of bear incursions in our communities so that they can find food that was once readily available to them before we paved that source over.

Just to put things in perspective: 1358 bears out of estimated NYS population of 6000-8000 were killed in 2013.

RIP bear.

AOA, you know I love you guys. However:

I feel awful he wasnt hit by a car it was a pickup an it was me . the bear ran in front of me heading to exit 23 . I felt him hit as i was breaking. I stopped an he kept running . I stayed an looked an listen for him. not seeing it i proceeded to the booths an told them . there was no damage except bent plate an some slobber on my bumper. no need to make a report but told them to call DEC because a wounded bear it not to taken lightly. I was headed out of town on just today found out about it being on the news..
Sorry bear . Matt. f

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.


Recently on All Over Albany

Thank you!

When we started AOA a decade ago we had no idea what was going to happen. And it turned out better than we could have... (more)

Let's stay in touch

This all feels like the last day of camp or something. And we're going to miss you all so much. But we'd like to stay... (more)

A few things I think about this place

Working on AOA over the past decade has been a life-changing experience for me and it's shaped the way I think about so many things.... (more)

Albany tightened its rules for shoveling snowy sidewalks last winter -- so how'd that work out?

If winter ever gets its act together and drops more snow on us, there will be sidewalks to shovel. And shortly after that, Albany will... (more)

Tea with Jack McEneny

Last week we were fortunate enough to spend a few minutes with Jack McEneny -- former state Assemblyman, unofficial Albany historian, and genuinely nice guy.... (more)

Recent Comments

My three year old son absolutely loving riding the train around Huck Finn's (Hoffman's) Playland this summer.

Thank you!

...has 27 comments, most recently from Ashley

Let's stay in touch

...has 4 comments, most recently from mg

A look inside 2 Judson Street

...has 3 comments, most recently from Diane (Agans) Boyle

Everything changes: Alicia Lea

...has 2 comments, most recently from Chaz Boyark

A few things I think about this place

...has 13 comments, most recently from Katherine